David Overton is a certified Physician Assistant (PA-C) who combines conventional and alternative medicine – for infants to seniors – at Natural Medicines and Family Practice in Lacey. As a Physician Assistant, Overton practices under the supervision of Dr. Richard Faiola, MD, ABFM. “Physician Assistants are trained to do 85% of what an MD does,” Overton explains, “but some PA’s do more than that.”
And with an impressive background as a registered nurse and teaching faculty member at both the University of Washington and Pacific Lutheran University, Overton is well qualified to help guide his patients to their optimum health. He’s worked in family practice, urgent care, orthopedics, coronary care, emergency room, intensive care and on an open heart team. From urgent care and surgical procedures to ordering and interpreting lab tests and writing prescriptions, Overton’s Natural Medicines and Family Practice can diagnose and treat most ailments.
Having grown up in Seattle – his father worked for Boeing – Overton moved to California to finish high school and attend college. He thought he’d return to Seattle soon after graduating. “Thirteen years later, I was still there¸ and I had a wife, house, and all that stuff,” he says. But he missed the Pacific Northwest and returned every summer for vacation. A broken-down car serendipitously found him in Olympia, where an aunt was living. “I ended up taking a job in Olympia, thinking I’d be here for a couple of years, and then move on to Seattle,” he says. But he found he liked the Olympia area even more than Seattle. “Now I’ve been here for 26 years.”
His road to natural medicines began with a series of his own injuries and illnesses. “I did what I was trained to do and it either didn’t work or caused me harm,” Overton explains. “I started learning that there’s a whole other side to it – so I got training in nutritional medicine, homeopathy, herbal medicines, nutritional counseling, energy medicine, acupuncture, and more.”
The bottom line for Overton is that conventional medicine works well if you have acute trauma, acute illnesses and some diseases, but it doesn’t work well for long-term chronic things. That’s where natural health care comes in. “I take the best of both and put them together,” he says.
“If you think about conventional medicine, yes there are tough cases where you have to figure out what’s going on with people who are deathly ill or have really serious things, but that’s not what most practitioners see,” Overton says. “What do most of us do? Write prescriptions.”
That would be easy for Overton to do. “If I just went back to doing standard conventional care, I’d “probably turn off 95 per cent of my brainpower,” he says. “Conventional practitioners are taught to smother symptoms or diseases with drugs,” Overton says. “But that doesn’t address the root of the problem.”
For example, one of Overton’s patients came to him for help lowering his blood pressure, after a conventional doctor’s prescription for blood pressure meds didn’t improve his condition. Overton was able to pinpoint the problem as circulation-related and suggested circulation supplements instead. “The patient asked me, ‘Hey, I’m a lot better. How come my blood pressure medication didn’t solve this?” Overton remembers, “I told him it was because the drug was designed to bring down his blood pressure, not treat the cause of his high blood pressure. I’m actually treating the causes, which is not what we are trained to do.”
Overton sees the same situation over and over, with a myriad of symptoms and underlying causes. To that end, he has devised a powerful diagnostic workup, which he employs for all his patients. “When people come to me, I’m going to ask them about their lifestyle, genetics and a series of questions,” Overton explains. He then sets about treating symptoms using supplements, drugs or surgical procedures (only when it’s appropriate).
Another big part of what Overton does is motivating patients to make healthy lifestyle changes. “We always encourage them to make lifestyle changes,” Overton says. “They have to change their thinking – and that’s the hard part.”
1315 Ruddell Rd SE
Lacey, WA 98503